By Robert J. Tamasy
From time to time, we see videos of a large building being imploded. Explosives planted at strategic points are detonated in precise sequence and suddenly, “Boom!” Within seconds a structure that may have taken years to construct is destroyed, transformed into little more than rubble.
Many of us still vividly remember the images of the Twin Towers at New York City’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorist-controlled jet airliners crashed into them. The shock of seeing fire blazing and smoke billowing intensified when the once-proud, shining skyscrapers collapsed into heaps.
Sights like these are spectacular and mesmerizing, not only for how quickly and powerfully a massive building can be brought to the ground, but also as reminders of how something that was seemingly built to endure can quickly become a scene of utter devastation.
We all have heard about similar “implosions” in the lives and careers of prominent business and professional leaders, politicians, celebrities, athletes, and other well-known individuals. Perhaps you could cite the names of several without more than a moment’s thought. Similarly, there have been highly respected businesses and organizations, ones whose products and services we enjoyed, that were destroyed under the weight of various scandals, unethical practices, and illegal activities.
These calamities bring to mind the lament of David, the imminent king of ancient Israel, upon learning of the deaths of King Saul and his son, Jonathan. “How the mighty have fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19).
In some instances, destruction could never have been predicted. However, in most cases the explosions that level a building – or one’s reputation and legacy – have been in the works for a long time. Trails of deceit, moral and ethical failures might have been concealed for a while, but they will come to light. The Bible gives ample warning of this, along with safeguards we can use. Here are several examples:
Never consider yourself ‘failure-proof.’ Many have been the leaders and people of influence who boldly considered them impervious to the temptations and snares of questionable or improper behavior and practices. “That could never happen to me,” they declare, until one day – it does. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Keep in mind the consequences of your actions. “No one will ever know” or, “What harm will be done?” Those are famous last words of countless individuals and companies that chose the paths of compromise, deception, and dishonesty, not considering the repercussions their decisions one day will have in the lives of many men, women, and children. “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot” (Proverbs 10:7).
Plan to avoid an implosion. Jesus Christ taught about the dangers of poor planning and lack of proper preparation. The same applies in failing to consider the potential impact of wrongful deeds and behavior. “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?… The one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed, and its destruction was complete” (Luke 6:46-49).
© 2023. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
- Have you ever seen a video of an old building being imploded? What was your reaction? If you can remember, how did you respond when you saw the famed World Trade Center towers collapsing after the terrorist attacks?
- Does anyone come to mind, some prominent individual, whose fame and prestige came to a sudden and disgraceful end because of wrongful actions and behavior? What lessons can we learn from their failures?
- What do you think of the person who considers himself or herself immune from temptations that have destroyed the lives of others – their peers or colleagues? Is there anything about which you think to yourself, “That could never happen to me.” What are the dangers of such thinking?
- How can you make certain that rather than building your life and career on a faulty foundation, like a house built upon the sand as Jesus described, that you build upon a firm, unshakable foundation that will not “implode”?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 10:9, 11:3, 12:19, 13:6, 16:11, 29:4; Luke 12:16-21; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15